We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
George Bernard Shaw
Many of us harbor feelings of fear, guilt, and shame. We see ourselves as flawed and are plagued by critical and contemptuous inner voices. When we allow these voices to determine what we do, we experience deep emotional—and even physical—pain. Our lives become driven by the need to avoid this pain “at all costs,”—which translates into acting out through compulsive behaviors, thereby increasing our shame and guilt.
This cycle of fear, guilt, and shame robs us of our natural enthusiasm for life and its adventures. We no longer set goals that call us forth into greater experiences of ourselves. We experience less and less satisfaction and therefore diminish our capacity for cheerfulness. We stop living and begin dying.
Today I make a commitment to embrace life with enthusiasm.
While existing in a paradigm of diminished self-worth, we lavishly bestow responsibility for most of our dissatisfaction onto everyone and everything. That is, of course, unless we want to fuel our own self-remorse.
We project our shame and guilt onto our bodies, our relationships with others, and the world around us. We complain incessantly, and compulsively blame and criticize the ones we love.
We find ourselves experiencing the syndrome of “fight or flight.” We avoid whatever we consider might be uncomfortable. We cannot commit to a job, a partner, or a goal for any length of time. Our ability to follow through steadily decreases. And if we feel that an agreement is an inconvenience, we break it.
If we do follow through with our agreements, we expect exalted rewards. When we don’t receive those rewards, we succumb to self-generated feelings of being unappreciated and alone in the universe.
To avoid the pain of this self-created isolation, we either develop a contempt and arrogance that leads to a grandiose self-image, or we fall victim to the notion that we are indeed undeserving, and that no matter how hard we try, we will always be unsatisfactory and unsatisfied.
Grandiosity and self-loathing are two sides of the same coin that procure a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and tragedy. With this defeatist attitude we will only allow goals that are non-challenging and minimal.
No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.
Problems arise from the fear of having these internalized feelings resurface. Avoidance keeps us from taking the necessary risks in life. However, to stay alive and healthy mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually we must triumph over the worries of failing under the pressure of new goals.
Setting goals and being in creation releases us to a grander expression of life. Action compels us to challenge negative beliefs and notions about ourselves. Non-action keeps us lifeless and bored.
By making goals that will generate greater experiences of our lives, and of ourselves, we rejuvenate our sojourns here. We cleanse and purify ourselves by facing both the indoctrinated, and self-created shame, guilt, and fear that has kept us confined to a reluctant existence.
It is at this junction that the mundane task of goal setting reveals its spiritual nature. By expanding the parameters that confine us, we develop an intimacy with all of our parts. This reveals our true Self.
The courage to feel our feelings instead of pushing away the pain allows us to stop denying the shame we harbor regarding the truth. The past begins to loosen its grip on us and we no longer need the escape of acting out. We are no longer run by our minds. Fear of the future subsides and we can discern between the real and the unreal.
Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you have even survived,
But what torments of grief you’ve endured,
From evils which never arrived.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
By recognizing that shame lives in the mind and discerning that we are not our minds, we begin to unmask our true selves. We encounter our connection to our Higher Power and reveal our true dwelling place in the field of all possibilities. By connecting to this Potential each day, we awaken the higher levels of our mind and become released from the bondage of compulsive thinking and behavior. We rediscover and enjoy the power of choice.
I give thanks that I am now becoming the person I always wanted to be.
As we develop a conscious contact with our Potential—a power greater than ourselves—it becomes easier to detach from the negative beliefs and attitudes that keep us entrenched in self-pity, lethargy, and reasonableness, all of which stimulate the limiting levels of mind.
Through meditation, prayer, quiet walks, reading, nature, music and service we strengthen our connection to our true selves and quiet the negative inner voices that keep us from setting goals that matter.
Remember this: You are not your feelings; you have feelings. You are not your thoughts; you have thoughts. You are not your past; you have a past. You are not your mind; you have a mind. You are not limited by your experiences. You are the unseen principle of all Life. You are Awakened Potential.
Today I will ignore the voices that tell me that I am flawed. Instead, I affirm that I am a perfect example of God’s creation
This is your life. Don’t miss it.
Matt Garrigan is a motivational speaker, the founder of LifeForce Educational Corporation and the creator of The Liberty Experience Training, The Mastery Course and the Awakened Potential Course. Matt has been a pioneer in the human potential movement since 1980. His exceptional goal oriented coaching techniques, expanded consciousness training, awareness counseling, integrity coaching and spiritual guidance have assisted thousands of individuals in transforming the quality of their lives. As a motivational speaker Matt’s ability to uniquely integrate many different philosophies and practices, combined with his steadfast commitment to empower people, makes his work a potent, life enhancing experience that sheds light on new possibilities in communication, relationship, prosperity and enlightenment.
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© Matt Garrigan – http://www.mattgarrigan.com